Welcome to Johns Hopkins Health Alerts!

"Johns Hopkins Health Alerts is an excellent site and I have recommended it to several of my friends. Thanks again, and keep up the good work!"
  • - D. Ambrosio


This free public service from Johns Hopkins Medicine helps keep you up to date on the latest breakthroughs for the most common medical conditions which prevent healthy aging.

Get the latest news sent straight to your inbox for FREE. Check all the boxes below for the topics that interest you.
We value your privacy and will never rent your email address

Johns Hopkins Health Alert

Getting a Second Opinion: It’s Easier Than You Think

Comments (0)

When faced with a serious medical condition like colon cancer, many men seek a second opinion to confirm their diagnosis or clarify treatment options. Yet others dread getting a second opinion for fear of offending their doctor. But that's rarely the case: Doctors are accustomed to having their patients consult another doctor to get a second point of view, and some doctors may recommend it. 

What's more, you may not have a choice in the matter. Your insurance company may require a second opinion for certain therapies and procedures, particularly if your treatment is expensive. Even so, do check with your insurance company before getting a second opinion to make sure the visit is covered. 

  • When doctors disagree: What studies show -- Medical research strongly supports the value of second opinions. For example, after reviewing slides of tissue obtained from breast cancer patients, pathologists at Northwestern University had major disagreements with the initial diagnoses -- almost all made at community hospitals -- that altered the surgical procedure in 8 percent of patients. The second opinion also changed the prognosis in 40 percent of cases. At the request of patients, Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia offered second opinions for 100 patients undergoing eye surgery. The reviewers disagreed with the initial diagnoses or management in 15 percent of cases, a finding that further underscores the importance of second opinions for surgeries, in particular. 
  • Finding a second doctor -- It's easiest to ask your primary care physician for a referral. Or, if you prefer, call the local medical society or a nearby medical center or medical school for the names of specialists. You can check credentials in the Official American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS) Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists, available at most libraries or online at www.abms.org.  Referrals from friends, family or support networks may also be worthwhile. But always check credentials. Some departments at Johns Hopkins provide second opinions remotely for patients unable to travel to the Baltimore area. For details, visit www.hopkins medicine.org/second_opinion or call 1-855-695-4872. 
  • Getting medical records -- Your physician should send your relevant medical records, including x-rays and blood tests. Because of strict privacy laws on personal medical records, you'll have to sign a release. The process can get tricky, as test results and other medical information may come from unaffiliated offices. Poor management of medical records is unfortunately a common problem for patients, hospitals and doctors. 

Posted in Colon Cancer on May 23, 2012


Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Johns Hopkins Health Alerts Disclaimer


Notify Me

Would you like us to inform you when we post new Colon Cancer Health Alerts?

Post a Comment

Comments

Health Alerts registered users may post comments and share experiences here at their own discretion. We regret that questions on individual health concerns to the Johns Hopkins editors cannot be answered in this space.

The views expressed here do not constitute medical advice, and do not represent the position of Johns Hopkins Medicine or Remedy Health Media, LLC, which has no responsibility for any comments posted on this site.


Post a Comment


Already a subscriber?

Login

Forgot your password?

New to Johns Hopkins Health Alerts?

Register to submit your comments.

(example: yourname@domain.com)

Customer Service

Registered Users Log-in:

Forgot Password?

Become a Registered User!
It's fast and FREE!
The Benefits of Being a Registered User


Johns Hopkins Health Alerts Bookstore


The Johns Hopkins Hospital Ranked #1 in the Nation in Five Specialties by U.S. News and World Report.



Number One of America's Best Hospitals 2012-2013: Johns Hopkins

Please visit here for more information about Johns Hopkins Patient Services


Health Topic Pages

  • Health Alert
  • Special Report

What is this?

XML